As part of the call-in meeting we received all of the comments that were sent in as a response to the WBC consultation. The people who responded to this consultation thought that they were being consulted on whether the Lollipop Ladies should be replaced with automated crossings or not. Our Highways Engineer made it clear that the only thing that they were looking for on the responses were legitimate safety considerations regarding the physical installation of the crossings.
In the subsequent report provided to the Executive, this consultation shows the concerns about bad parking, bad driving, children’s safety etc were disregarded. Very clearly, the rare visit from a CPE Officer is not enough to replace the daily presence of a SCP. Two of the schools who had their SCP removed last year have now had to install special holding pens at their gates because of the safety concerns for their children.
We certainly do not feel that the public is being listened to. Please can you advise what will be done to satisfy all of the concerns in the consultation, before the School Crossing Patrollers are actually removed?
In line with the Council’s Consultation Protocol, consultation was undertaken about the removal of the school crossing patroller service. The responses were reported to and fully considered by the Council’s Executive. Prior to this in consultation with Officers I visited and reviewed each of the crossing sites in detail which resulted in two crossings being changed from zebra to puffin and one site provided with a zebra crossing where previously no facility was proposed. In line with the protocol other relevant information was also considered by the Council’s Executive including highway safety issues, the financial implications and the wider benefits of the proposed new crossing facilities for all residents. The Executive considered that the safety benefits of the new crossings, to serve all residents throughout the day and year, outweighed the concerns raised by the respondents; many of which related to poor parking and driving which are not factors that the school crossing patrol service is designed to address.
In line with the adopted Consultation Protocol the Council is committed to listening to its residents but in line with this document it also acknowledges that “a consultation should not be the sole means by which information should be gathered when making a decision. ….. this information is considered alongside other relevant evidence or information about an issue …”
According to our WBC consultation approach we are legally supposed to consult at the formative stages of a change of service. It is actually a legal requirement which provides sufficient reason to allow us to give ntelligent consideration in the response. I would like to know when we are actually going to get a consultation on the removal of the lollipop lady service because this seems to be a consultation just about whether we should install a crossing or not?
No this was a consultation in connection with the removal of the service and the replacement with safe crossings.